Going For “The Big Chop”

I am painfully precious about few things – but my hair is definitely one of them, and with good reason. During those fragile early teen years, a hairdresser gave my curly hair a fringe that I definitely didn’t ask for, and I mourned it like the loss of a beloved pet.

In fairness, it was horrific. My new fringe just curled back into my hairline, giving me a strong resemblance to the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz for at least six months and I still can’t walk into a New Look changing room without reliving the memory of me, fresh out of the hairdresser's/butcher's, loudly sobbing in a cubicle for twenty minutes as staff ushered other women into the men’s changing area to give me some privacy.


An accurate presentation of how I looked, aged 14.

Since then, my hair has been largely left to its own devices, the odd inch or so snipped off, but no major overhaul. No colour, certainly never shorter than the bottom of my shoulder blades. But recently I’d been thinking: If you’re not going to change your hair up in your twenties, when will you? And I missed my curls, which were weighed down by the length of my hair.

As I toyed with the idea, a friend mentioned that I could donate my hair to Little Princesses, a charity that made wigs for children suffering from hair loss in Ireland and the UK and I realised I *might* be being a bit precious about the whole thing.

But I wanted experienced, confident hands for this one, so headed to Mark of Sitstil on Drury Street. Mark’s praises are regularly rung around the office for his cuts and a number of my friends with enviable hair had been going to him for years.

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The staff considerately plied me with tea as Mark plaited the foot of hair I was preparing to bid adieu to – you can’t be conservative if you’re planning to donate, they need at least 7 inches (almost four inches of it is lost in the weaving process).

And so the moment came. A deep breath and a few forceful scissor snips later and I was… lighter. Turns out I was fearing the act itself, not so much the result. Mark began to shape my hair and I started to realise – I think I may have now found my new hair home. With a fresh cut in tow, Mark also taught me some slick blowdrying skills, but I think I’ll be putting away my styling tools for the moment and just let it do its thing.

My hair is now a bouncy ball of fun, springy, but no longer springer spaniel-y. I am smug, to say the least.

My mother, on the other hand, was less than delighted, and mourned the lost of my hair like the loss of her own beloved pet. Still, I didn't even need the e-mail from Little Princesses thanking me for the donation, although it was lovely, to convince me I'd made the right decision.

If you’re interested in donating your hair, check out the requirements here and let your hairdresser know before heading into the salon.

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